Looking for Naval Records for Herbert James Barker

I am trying to find my grandfather's naval records, and I seem to be going around in big circles. Hopefully someone out there can lead me in the right direction.

My grandfathers name was Herbert James Barker Born 4 August 1894 Died 28 Sept 1969.

Family have told me that he was on HMAS Sydney when it sunk the Emden in the Cocos Islands on 9th November 1914.

I have managed to find out off his war gratuity application that he was on HMAS Protector 1/9/1915-23/2/1916.

Like I said I am going around in circles and have ran out of places to look.

When my grandfather passed away there was an article in a navy magazine about his passing and that he had served on the HMAS Sydney.

Any help on where to get this information would be appreciated.

Thank you

Sandra Pricolo

Views: 170

Comment by Debra on April 18, 2012 at 0:43

Hi Sandra,

Herbert's application for a war gratuity has dates (corrected) of service as 4/8/14 - 31/8/14 and 10/10/14 - 10/11/14 on shore service at Port Melbourne.  It seems impossible for him to have been in the Cocos Islands on 9/11/14.  He did sign the document, declaring it to be an accurate record of service.

Sometimes stories get a bit confused over time and the magazine may have been given incorrect information.



Comment by Sandra Pricolo on April 20, 2012 at 22:01


Thankyou for your blog. I do agrees with you, but I have an article from 75th Anniversary Australian Navy Magazine, which has the heading Naval Veteran has Died, and it goes on to talk about my grandfather being a naval reserve on the HMAS Sydney when it sunk the Emdem

I am now trying to track down what magazine it was in, the copy of the page I have is dated 1/10/1969.


Comment by Tonia (from NAA) on April 23, 2012 at 12:07

Hi Sandra

You may be able to find confirmation of your grandfather's service in the ships ledgers.  These are pay ledgers for all of the crew who were on board during the period covered by the ledger.  The information you typically can find is name, number, rank, period of full pay and any remarks such as punishments or qualifications.  Unfortunately, these records are too large to digitise. 

If you wish to know whether your grandfather's name appears in these ledgers you can submit a reference inquiry online using the form at www.naa.gov.au/collection/forms/ref-inquiry.aspx   The series number for the collection of the ships ledgers is A4624.  Where it asks you to provide details of your inquiry, please provide your grandfather's full name, the ship or port where you think he was (ie either Port Melbourne, HMAS Sydney or HMAS Protector), and the period you are interested in (ie Novermber 1914). Alternatively, you could come and view the ledgers in our Canberra reading room.



(NAA staff)


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